How to Cooking with Starches and Fiber


Starches are one of the two major types of carbohydrate. The other major type is sugar. Starches include breads, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, corn, dry beans, and peas. Most starches have very little fat or cho­lesterol. Starches that tend to be high in fat, such as bis­cuits, croissants, some muffins, and corn bread, are best avoided.

Fiber is the part of plants that your body can’t digest. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), and whole grains. All are low in fat and calories and have no cholesterol. Try these suggestions for choosing and using starches and fiber.

Choosing Breads

For the most fiber, go for breads that list whole grains or multigrains as the first ingredient on the label. Whole-grain breads include whole wheat, oatmeal, rye, and pumpernick­el. Look for those with 2 to 3 grams of fiber per slice.

Choosing Cereals

  • Look for a breakfast cereal that has
  • No more than 2 grams of fat per serving.
  • No more than 6 grams of sugars per serving.
  • Less than 150 calories per serving.
  • At least 4 grams of fiber per serving
  • Using Cereals
  • Sprinkle a high-fiber dry cereal over plain or flavored nonfat yogurt or nonfat frozen yogurt.
  • Add high-fiber dry cereal to breads, hot cereals, casseroles, and stuffings.
  • Choosing Fruits
  • Choose fresh, frozen (without added sugar), canned (in water or juice), or dried fruit. If you buy canned fruit packed in syrup, rinse the syrup off under cold water. Limit dried fruits to a 1/4-cup serving. When choosing fresh fruits, follow these guidelines:
  • Apples: Look for apples that are firm and well colored, with a fresh fragrance and no bruises. Refrigerate. Apricots: Look for apricots that are plump and somewhat firm, with smooth skin and a uniform color (not green). Ripen at room temperature until apricots feel soft; refrigerate. Bananas: Look for bananas with even-colored yellow skin, with or without brown specks. Store at room temperature until ripe, then refrigerate. The skin will turn black, but the inside will be fine.
  • Blackberries: Look for blackberries that are plump, firm, and deep colored, with no hulls or mold. Refrigerate, unwashed and uncovered.
  • Blueberries: Look for blueberries that are plump, firm, and dry, with a frosted purple-blue color. Refrigerate, unwashed and uncovered.
  • Cantaloupe: Look for a cantaloupe that is firm, unbruised, and heavy for its size, with a thick, well-raised, yellowish (not green) netting and sweet aroma. Ripen at room temper­ature. Refrigerate when ripe.
  • Cherries: Look for cherries that are plump, firm, brightly colored, and glossy, with pliable stems attached. Refrigerate, unwashed and uncovered.
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About the Author: Leona Kesler is a head-chef at a very popular food restaurant in New York. Also she is a blogger who shares her experiences, tips, and other informative details about food and cooking. Her recipes are featured on many magazines.

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